|A proper progressive shares his opinion.|
One of the fundamental characteristics of a 'proper' progressive is that they don't criticise Chris Trotter.
EVERY THURSDAY AFTERNOON Chris Trotter can be heard on Radio Live, supposedly representing the left. His political adversary is former ACT leader Rodney Hide. However its not so much a debate of ideas and viewpoints because, in reality, Trotter and Hide disagree on little but agree on a lot. This is not so much a debate but a convivial wee chat between two middle aged and prosperous white males mutually admiring each other. This is 'politics as usual' and Trotter just adores it.
In stark contrast it's a different Chris Trotter when he's on the net, especially when he is hurling vitriol at organisations and individuals who have transgressed his very narrow definition of 'progressive politics'. For someone who likes to call himself "left leaning' (that's his Wikipedia description) he spends an awful amount of time and energy attacking the left. He probably attacks the left more frequently than a right wing attack dog like Paul Henry.
His latest bizarre post comes at a time when he has been roundly criticised for his reactionary attack on the movement of Bernie Sanders and his sycophantic adulation of neocon Hillary Clinton.
It has clearly rankled with Trotter that people might not actually agree with him.
In response Trotter writes that he does not does not enjoy "self-defined progressives" who "confuse posting comments on Facebook or The Daily Blog with effective political action." Putting aside the absurdity of anyone else defining someone else's politics for them, Trotter , who routinely shares his wit and wisdom on The Daily Blog and elsewhere, goes on to say that "they are never more happily engaged than when enumerating, with maximum brutality, the faults and failings of those they identify as representatives of the “mainstream”.
People like Chris Trotter perhaps? Oh dear. Maybe they've been listening to his cosy chats with Rodney Hide.
He claims that 'progressive camp followers", are "almost entirely derivative and lamentably uninformed." How does he know this or is he just making it up as he goes along? Are they as uninformed as someone who thinks that anyone who won't support the Labour Party is 'ultra-leftist'? Are they as uninformed as someone who deliberately distorts the work of great socialist revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg and Antonio Gramsci in order to bolster his own conservative arguments? Are they as uninformed as someone who described wealthy internet businessman Kim Dotcom as a 'revolutionary'? Are they as uninformed as someone who thought Real Choice, the anti-TPP group, was a police front?
Trotter claims its next to impossible to draw his "self defined progressive....into any sort of useful – let alone fruitful – dialogue". This is the same Chris Trotter who refused to defend his comments on both Rosa Luxemburg and Antonio Gramsci. This is the same Chris Trotter who refuses to engage in a meaningful debate about the politics of the Labour Party and the future of progressive politics in this country. This is the same Chris Trotter who attacks anybody and everybody who suggests that the Labour Party is politically bankrupt and a political dead end. Not much 'fruitful dialogue' happening here.
According to Trotter "genuinely progressive individuals, organisations and blogsites" in New Zealand are being "misrepresented' but he coyly doesn't name any of them. But we can guess. I don't think we'd be straying far from truth if we said that Chris Trotter thinks that Chris Trotter is one of those 'genuinely progressive individuals'. He probably also thinks that his blog, Bowalley Road, is one of those "genuinely progressive blogsites". And no prizes for guessing that Trotter would describe the Labour Party as a 'genuinely progressive organisation".
Trotter warns: "All it takes is one angry, ill-informed individual with a keyboard and an Internet connection for a mainstream visitor – someone poised to join in the struggle for positive change – to be put off “progressive” politics for life."
I entirely agree. That "angry, ill-informed individual' happens to be Chris Trotter.